Pancreatic Cancer: New Treatment may Rev Up Immune System

by Colleen Fleiss on  October 12, 2019 at 11:03 PM Cancer News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

In mice, combining a type of radiation therapy with immunotherapy not only cures pancreatic cancer but appears to reprogram the immune system to create an "immune memory" in the same way that a vaccine keeps the flu away, reported a University of Rochester Wilmot Cancer Institute research team.
Pancreatic Cancer: New Treatment may Rev Up Immune System
Pancreatic Cancer: New Treatment may Rev Up Immune System

The journal Cell Reports published the study, with Scott Gerber, Ph.D., as corresponding author, and Bradley Mills, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow in the Gerber Lab, as first author. They led a large team of collaborators from the University of Rochester departments of Surgery, Microbiology and Immunology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Radiation Oncology, and Environmental Medicine.

Show Full Article


Pancreatic cancer is aggressive and generally has poor survival odds. It's been in the news this year after "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek went public with his diagnosis and treatment. In more than 80 percent of patients, the cancer is discovered in later stages when surgery is not an option and chemotherapy is usually not effective beyond stabilizing the disease.

Pancreatic tumors are notoriously hard to treat because they are surrounded by a toxic stew of proteins and other tissues that protect the cancer cells from the immune system's natural role to attack invaders.

Wilmot researchers looked for an innovative treatment combination that could do two things at once: activate T-cells to attack the cancer and convert the immune-suppressing cells into fighters, the study said.

The combination they used in laboratory models consisted of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), which delivers high doses of radiation over a short period of time and may also prime the immune system to kill cancer cells; and interleukin-12 (IL-12), which has well-known anti-cancer activity and also activates the immune system.

However, IL-12 often comes with harsh side effects. To solve that problem, researchers are testing a timed-release technology in a specially designed mouse model for pancreatic cancer, which would slowly deliver the drug over two weeks.

Source: Eurekalert

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Premium Membership Benefits

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

News Category

News Archive